Many people have found goal-setting to be a powerful part of their success. It can be a helpful way to think about your future, including defining your ultimate objective and identifying the steps it will take to reach that goal.

Once you’ve determined your goals, including both the big ones (to become an NBA point guard, for example) and the smaller, on-the-way goals (play on the high school team, get a basketball scholarship to a college, etc.), then you’ve constructed what you may think of as a map to your future. Because you’ve identified what you want and some intermediary steps, you can now plan your daily activities so that they’ll help you make progress towards your goals.

Thus, your goal-setting occurs on three levels:

  • Identify the ultimate goal that you’d like to achieve (in your life, or over the next ten years, or something fairly grand).
  • Think about the steps it will take to reach your ultimate goal. Redefine the steps so that each step becomes a goal.
  • Now that you’ve developed your roadmap, start working on the steps day by day.

Make Your Goals SMART

“We know goal-setting is a very powerful motivating force,” said Maurice E. Schweitzer, a professor of operations and information management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, quoted in the October 6, 2012, New York Times. “Whether it’s a runner who wants to set a certain time or a salesperson aiming for a number of sales, goals give us meaning, purpose, and guidance.”

A common problem with goals is that they’re not clearly defined. If you were to identify your goal as “I want to be successful,” you’d have a difficult time identifying the steps towards reaching the goal. The reason is because it’s too vague; it could mean too many different things. It’s important, when setting goals, to be as exact as possible.

The SMART acronym is commonly used as a recommended guide in goal setting. The acronym, unpacked, says that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.

Brian Mitchell used goal-setting techniques to propel himself through a successful 14-year career in the NFL, and afterward into a rewarding television and radio career. If you’d like to learn to use these techniques to determine your own road to success, few are better able to help than is Brian Mitchell. This former Redskins football star now shares his secrets to success with high school and college athletes, as well as with current and former professional athletes and business professionals. If you’d like motivational speaker Brian Mitchell to inspire your group, contact him at 703-688-2399.

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